Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle…. FINAL St. Louis 2 Cincinnati 8 W: M. Leake (6-8) L: J.Garcia (3-5) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –Mike Leake had a very nice bounce back start after getting knocked around last time out. Good to see. He certainly danced around trouble all afternoon, but the numbers were good at the end. […]

The Reds will retire Barry Larkin’s number 11 this afternoon. I’m looking forward to being in the park to see that. There will also be a baseball game today. I hope the Reds win. Can we agree on that? Discuss the game here. Go Redlegs. Chad DotsonBlame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg […]

For thirty plus years I’ve lived in the state of New York, but never once considered visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  My reasoning was so simplistic, a child could scrawl it out in crayon cincinnati red:

Pete wasn’t there.

Like a climate change denier, I couldn’t see the change in the baseball climate, the one that said that Rose surely bet on baseball.  Pete said he didn’t.  That was good enough for me.  I even had a t-shirt with a picture of Pete in uniform grabbing himself as players are often caught doing as they stand on first, with the words, “Bet on this, Bart.”   Yeah.  I was shameless in my support of Rose.

Although, truth be told, being in Pete’s corner proved to be a full-time job.  I had to weather not only the admission by the man after 14 years of lying that that he did in fact bet on the game, I had to stand witness to a parade of embarrassing moments, like clowns coming out of a very small car:  Pete selling himself off on TV, even as A. Bartlett Giamatti was about to sell him down the river mere hours later; Pete signing notarized copies of the documents making his ban official with the inscription “I’m sorry I bet on baseball;” then there was that noble night, the 25th anniversary of the Big Knock, when he decided he couldn’t be around for the entire celebration orchestrated by the Reds at GABP because he had a prior commitment at a local casino.

It’s the show that never ends.  It sometimes felt as if it should come with circus clown music.  It takes its toll on a fan.

So, when Google Maps informed me that, after visiting my son on Saturday at his summer camp in upstate Pennsylvania hard by the New York border, I would be only 99 miles from Cooperstown and the next day’s induction ceremony of the great Larkin—I had a change of heart.  As an internet friend of mine said the other day, “Rose got exactly what he deserved… he did it the old fashioned way.  He earned it.”  It was time to let go of my foolish ways.  Barry Larkin was surely worthy of that.

Where Pete was greatness and guilt, Barry was greatness and grace. He loved wearing Cincinnati Red.  He once was shocked to have a Dodger jersey with “LARKIN” on the back delivered to him by a clubhouse boy when it appeared a deal was about to be done with L.A. to trade Barry to the Lasordas, and they wanted to be ready for the press conference.

Thankfully, we never had to witness that.

It was early when I exited I-88 for the 17 mile scenic drive north up Route 28 to Cooperstown.  I passed Goodyear Lake and quaint little motels flush with automobiles.  For much of the way I fought through the morning fog, thick with anticipation.  As I approached town, the veil lifted and wouldn’t you know it?—corn fields appeared on either side of the highway.  At any moment, I half expected James Earl Jones to step out onto the roadway.

              

I parked directly across from a beautiful canary yellow Victorian house with a wooden sign over the front porch announcing, “Baseball Bed & Breakfast: Vacancy.”  Two men in Larkin jerseys strolled past my car as I got out.  “Great day to be a Reds fan, isn’t it,” I said.  “Indeed it is,” came the reply.
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Time for Barry Larkin to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. The fact that I was unable to clear my schedule to get up to Cooperstown today is going to end up being one of the great regrets of my life. […]

Editor’s note: This piece originally ran in January, but we’re re-running because Barry Larkin deserves it. ***Warning: I’m gonna ramble a bit here.*** On Monday, my favorite baseball player was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I’ve been thinking about Barry Larkin a lot these last few days. If you’ve read Redleg Nation […]

Editor’s note: This piece originally ran in January, but we’re re-running because Barry Larkin deserves it. A few days ago, upon hearing of Larkin’s election to the Hall of Fame, I asked the other guys here to share a cherished Larkin memory or two.  I thought it would be nice to share them with the […]

Editor’s Note: This piece originally ran in December, but we’re re-running it because Barry Larkin deserves it. In a few weeks, something wonderful should happen: Barry Larkin’s election to the Hall of Fame. The statistical arguments have been made. Let’s do something else today. When Larkin was brought up in August of 1986 and given […]

Tomorrow, one of the greatest shortstops to ever play the game enters the Hall of Fame. You know him as Barry Louis Larkin. Now, back in January, we here at the Nation were on top of the election like a tiger on a steak, so we thought it would be nice to put together a […]

Beginning tonight for five consecutive Mondays, Fox Sports Ohio will be airing Cincinnati Reds baseball games. The first three Mondays include classic games from the 2011 season, including the walk-off opening day win against the Milwaukee Brewers. The fourth Monday will wrap up the “Reds Classic Rewind” schedule with this Barry Larkin game from 1999. […]

A few days ago, upon hearing of Larkin’s election to the Hall of Fame, I asked the other guys here to share a cherished Larkin memory or two.  I thought it would be nice to share them with the rest of the Nation. I’ll start with mine: This is pretty random, but I remember right […]

***Warning: I’m gonna ramble a bit here.*** On Monday, my favorite baseball player was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I’ve been thinking about Barry Larkin a lot these last few days. If you’ve read Redleg Nation for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m one of these gooey, Field of Dreams-type […]

The headline on this Rob Neyer piece is “The Worst Thing Ever Written About Barry Larkin.” I might have titled it “The Dumbest Thing Ever Written About Barry Larkin.” Neyer destroys it. A must-read. Chad DotsonBlame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds […]